Your bathroom is a haven for many bugs and pests. Why?
Excess moisture and the cracks and gaps on the bathroom floors and walls make the bathroom an ideal nesting and hiding place for bugs.
In this guide, you’ll find tiny ant-like bugs in the bathroom that pop out of nowhere.
These ant look-alikes are harmless. But if you don’t get rid of them, they soon become a nuisance and spread elsewhere in your home.
So, you’ll also find the proven methods to get rid of these small bugs that look like ants in the bathroom.
5 Tiny Bugs In The Bathroom That Look Like Ants
- Psocids mites
- Weevils beetles
- Flying ants
- Thief ants
These bugs are all moisture bugs. It means that they live and nest in damp places to survive because moisture is a critical factor that keeps them alive.
Let’s get into each of these bugs and find out what they look like.
Silverfish are tiny gray bugs in the bathroom with scales in their bodies. These bugs are ½ an inch long, with six legs, a pair of antennae, and two appendages at their abdomen.
Silverfish are harmless bugs that crawl fast. They don’t bite or carry any venom.
Crawling fast and hiding inside the gaps and cracks in the bathroom floor and walls are their only defensive measures against any danger.
Silverfish are nocturnal bugs. They’ll hide during the day and creep out at night to feed on the molds that form on the bathroom walls.
They can also eat dead insects and larvae.
So, when you turn on the bathroom light at night, silverfish bugs will scurry across the surface and disappear.
That might give you the impression that you just saw a tiny ant-like bug in your bathroom.
However, one factor can tell you that it wasn’t an ant.
Unlike ants, silverfish don’t scavenge for food in trails or clusters. Most of the time, they’re looking for food solo.
Silverfish bugs enter homes when the weather outdoors becomes too hot and dry.
They need moisture and dampness to survive, so they’ll sneak inside the areas where the water usage is the highest.
Hence, the most common places you can see silverfish in your house are the bathroom, basement, and kitchen.
Despite being harmless, silverfish bugs can cause some damage to things in your home.
Silverfish bugs eat on the molds that form on old books and fabrics. That feeding damages the books and clothes.
So, you must get rid of them when you notice them.
Later in the post, you’ll learn to do it. But now, let’s get into another little ant-like bug that shows up in your bathroom.
Psocids Mites Or Booklice
Psocids mites, also known as booklice, are feeders of molds that form on bathroom walls and floors.
These bugs are tiny, brown, and grow only up to 0.2-0.4 inches in size. And like the ants, they’re also fast crawlers.
Also, like the ants, psocid mites can congregate in clusters to feed on the molds and fungi on the moldy surface.
Another common thing that many people confuse booklice in the bathroom with the ant is that they’ve got six legs. Ants, too, have six legs.
When the booklice scurry across the bathroom floor or sink, you think they’re ants.
Booklice are also tiny moisture bugs that suddenly appear in your home during the dry months.
Like the silverfish, the booklice also target the damp places in your house.
But they can also appear in dry areas like your bookshelves, bed, and hardwood floors. That happens when their numbers shoot up inside the house.
On observing closely, you’ll notice that booklice look like bed bugs. And many people confuse booklice on the bed with bed bugs.
Booklice are not body lice. Unlike the body lice, booklice are not parasites on humans.
Booklice bugs are harmless. They don’t bite, and they don’t feed on human blood.
Weevils are a type of pantry beetle. These beetles infest stored grains in your kitchen pantry.
So, how come they end up in the bathroom?
Weevils are also moisture bugs. And they’ll seek out the damp places when their numbers in the kitchen skyrocket.
Also, weevils will fly through the bathroom windows and vents when looking for a home to infest.
Weevils are dark-reddish brown. Some of them can be black too. Their size ranges between 0.1 and 0.13 inches. So, they can resemble tiny black ants in the bathroom.
But there are two things in their anatomy that can help you to distinguish between weevils and ants.
Weevils have a snout. They use it to insert the food grains and suck out their sap of them.
Second, weevils are oval. Ants are not.
Weevils in the bathroom signify that they’re invading your home, or their numbers in the kitchen have increased.
Weevil beetles also feed on the molds. So, they’ll get into your bathroom if they need to.
Flying ants are not your typical ants, but they’re ants.
Flying ants are reproductives that are known as alates. These winged ants swarm out of their current ant colonies to find a new home to infest.
Flying ants look like ants if you see at their bodies through the wings.
Winged ants enter homes in swarms during the summer months when the swarms occur. Swarms can also happen after the rains.
Light from your home attracts these ants. And these ants enter homes through open doors and windows.
The gaps on the windowsills and frame are also entry points of flying ants and adult ants to crawl through and invade your house.
Flying ants swarming into your home is one of the ways that an ant infestation inside the house can begin.
These ants mate, lose their wings and hide inside the house.
So, how come flying ants end up in your bathroom?
If you see flying ants in your bathroom, it’s a clear sign that the ants flew inside the bathroom through the bathroom vents and open windows.
You’ll notice these ants with wings on the bathroom floor, sink, and bathtub.
Flying ants don’t seek out humans to bite. But flying ants can bite if they land on you and you press them against your skin.
The tiny ant-like bug in the bathroom can actually be an ant. These little ants can be thief ants, the smallest house ants species.
Thief ants grow between 0.05 inches and 0.09 inches in size. Thief ants are light brown or yellow and resemble pharaoh ants.
Pharaoh ants are another type of tiny sugar ants that invade homes for food and shelter.
Thief ants in the bathroom sink, bathtub, and floor indicate that these ants have infested your home.
They’ll make their nests and colonies in the thin gaps and crevices on the bathroom walls and floors. The cracks on the wall near the plumbing area underneath the bathroom sinks are their favorite place to build colonies.
Ants can also hide in the toilet, especially when there’s a diabetic patient in your home.
Thief ants always move in ant trails.
Other sugar ants species, like grease ants or pharaoh ants, don’t forage in trails, especially when they’ve established their colonies inside the house.
Thief ants in the bathroom can result from a spike in ant infestation, which has spilled over to your bathroom.
Thief ants will feed on the bathroom’s tiny bugs in the shower grout.
However, they prefer to feed on protein-rich and sugary human foods.
That’s why when thief ants invade homes, their primary target is your kitchen.
Your kitchen has food waste and stored foods that these ants can feed.
They’ll also feed on the food stains and crumbs in the kitchen sinks, countertops, and kitchen appliances.
Thief ants enter homes through the thin gaps and cracks in the walls, windows, and doors. These ants enter homes looking for food and shelter during the hot weather.
Thief ants are notorious for sneaking inside food packets through the tiny holes in the packaging. They carry pathogens and can transfer them to your food.
The pathogens that ants carry can cause diseases like salmonella.
Outdoors, thief ants feed on dead insects. They also steal the larvae of other ants from their colonies. That’s why they got their names as thief ants.
How To Get Rid Of Bugs In The Bathroom
Controlling the moisture, sealing gaps and cracks on the bathroom floors and walls, covering the bathroom windows and vents with screens, and using pesticide sprays are essential to get rid of bugs in the bathroom.
Not to mention, the bugs in the bathroom can be a spillover from other areas of your home.
So, you’ll also need to get rid of those bugs in your home to ensure they don’t take shelter in your bathroom.
All the bugs sneak inside bathrooms, including the ones that don’t nest in your bathroom, like the little black jumping bugs, the springtails, are moisture bugs.
So, controlling the moisture in your bathroom is vital to keep the bugs away.
Fix water leakages underneath sinks and faucets causing high dampness in your bathroom.
Use a dehumidifier in the bathroom to ensure that the moisture levels in the bathroom are under control.
A dehumidifier doesn’t kill bugs. But it helps in making your home unappealing to moisture bugs.
Caulk the gaps and cracks on the bathroom floor and walls. Tiny bugs, like mold mites and larvae of flies like fungus gnats and drain flies, feed on the molds and wastes that get stuck in the bathroom shower grout.
So, ensure that there are no crevices on the floors and the walls.
Molds and fungi develop on the bathroom floor and walls because of excessive moisture. These molds are food for bugs like psocids mites, mold mites, and silverfish.
And the presence of these bugs in your bathroom can attract their predators, like ants and centipedes.
So, use a mold cleaner or bleach to remove the molds. If excessive moisture causes damage to the bathroom floors and walls, then repair them.
Damp, damaged walls are home to many bugs. They’ll use them to build their nests and colonies.
Many bugs and flies, including stinging wasps, enter the bathroom from open windows and vents.
So, use window shields with fine mesh to cover the windows and vents. That’ll ensure that bugs don’t jump in or fly in from these places.
Use a pesticide spray in your bathroom to kill any of the bugs hiding there. To make your bathroom repellant to bugs, you can use peppermint spray.
Bugs, including rodents, hate the smell of peppermint, and it keeps them away from places that smell minty.
Silverfish, psocids mites, weevils beetles, flying ants, and thief ants are tiny ant-like bugs in the bathroom.
This guide revealed why they look like ants (though thief ants are ants), how they reach your bathroom and what you can do to get rid of them.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.